Not all troubled relationships are alike, but they do share some key qualities. Most involve painful emotions that keep us from seeing clearly. This leads to confusion, which distorts what we once knew to be true. When you're suffering in a relationship that's falling apart, it's common to feel disoriented—like you're living in a bad dream.
After you finally break free, time passes very slowly at first. Because you're still confused and now bereft as well, it might take all the willpower you've got to resist returning to the bad dream you just left. But if you stick with it—through a lot of soul-searching and processing—the fog will begin to lift and a glimmer of light will appear at the end of the tunnel.
Here are eight signs that indicate you're on the road to recovery, and soon you'll be ready to step into the life (and relationship) you deserve. And if you read this and realize you haven't hit these milestones yet, that's a valuable lesson, too. Let what you read here help you recognize and honor wherever you are on your journey, and remember these insights in the future so you can more deeply appreciate your progress as it unfolds.